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Reduce the usage of plastic bags in campus stores at UAB.

This petition had 335 supporters

We, the students of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, petition to implement a $0.30 fee for every single-use plastic bag used by a customer in campus stores. 

Americans use approximately 102.1 billion plastic bags each year.  Out of the bags used, roughly one percent are recycled. The disposal of plastic bags has led to devastating consequences. Plastic bags are incredibly harmful to wildlife, marine ecosystems in particular. Other than the already harmful synthetic chemicals present in plastic bags, they pose even more harm due to the plastic's ability to absorb additional lethal toxins found in polluted oceans. Plastic bags also suffocate land animals and prevent the soil from having adequate nutrients due to these lethal toxins. These toxins can remain in the ecosystem for hundreds of years once an animal ingests them, traveling throughout the food chain. This problem is intensified every time a plastic bag enters the environment.  

Plastic bag use also leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Roughly one kilogram of carbon dioxide is emitted for every five plastic bags produced. Carbon dioxide is also emitted when plastic bags are incinerated at landfills, resulting in over one million tons of additional carbon dioxide emissions. Not only does this heat our planet, potentially endangering millions of species, but it also contributes to higher rates of cancer and respiratory problems for our own population.

As a university that strives to be more environmentally conscious, UAB must quell the use of single-use plastic bags and emphasize the importance of utilizing reusable bags. By implementing a $0.30 fee on non-reusable plastic bags, customers have a disincentive to use the non-recyclable bags. The businesses which implement this $0.30 fee can then establish a Sustainability Fund. With their Sustainability Fund, the businesses can make investments which are more ecologically (and economically) friendly; this would include making investments in reusable bags to make them cheaper for students to buy. To avoid the fee, customers can bring any reusable bags or purchase reusable bags that are offered at campus stores. This small fee would ultimately result in a decrease in the university's direct contribution to plastic pollution in Birmingham while also decreasing UAB's overall carbon footprint. 

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Nicholas Ciancio needs your help with “President Ray L. Watts: Reduce the usage of plastic bags in campus stores at UAB.”. Join Nicholas and 334 supporters today.